Electrical Burns and Amputations
Written by Faith Anderson on July 30, 2013
Electrical burns and amputations describe two of the most debilitating injuries resulting from construction site accidents. Electrical burns occur frequently because of the accidental contact many construction workers have with overhead power lines, and other sources of electrical energy. Amputations are less common occurrences, but still pose a serious risk to workers who would likely be unable to return to work after suffering a loss of limb injury. Unfortunately electrical burns and amputations often occur when workers operate poorly maintained equipment or when employers fail to take proper safety measures to protect the well-being of their workers. If you have suffered an electrical burn or an amputation injury in a construction accident, contact a qualified construction accident attorney to discuss your options for legal recourse.
Causes of Electrical Burns and Amputations
Unfortunately, given the nature of the construction industry, electrical burn and amputation injuries are not uncommon occurrences. Construction site amputations and electrical burn injuries are often caused by the following:
- Construction vehicles colliding
- Defective machinery
- Unsafe working conditions
- Working with power tools
- Electric shock
- Construction site explosion
- Loading and unloading accidents
Electrical burns and amputations may also result from factors like poor employee training, failure to adhere to OSHA safety regulations, and lack of protective equipment.
Long-Term Effects of Electrical Burn and Amputation Injuries
Electrical burn and amputation injuries can result in permanent disability as well as significant emotional and psychological hardships for the worker. For those workers unable to return to work, the tragic loss of income compounded by the costly medical bills associated with construction accident injuries can be just as devastating as the physical injuries themselves. Many victims of amputation injuries need multiple surgeries to repair nerve damage and may require use of a prosthetic limb, all of which only contribute to considerable medical expenses.
OSHA Regulations to Reduce Workplace Injury
In light of the life-altering consequences resulting from electrical burn injuries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established the following safety regulations to prevent this type of construction site injury.
- Work on new and existing energized electrical circuits is prohibited until all power is shut off and grounds are attached
- Frayed, damaged or worn electrical cords should be promptly replaced
- All electrical tools and equipment should be maintained in safe condition, checked regularly for defects, and taken out of service if a defect is found
- Overhead electrical electrical power lines are located and identified
- Ensure that ladders, cranes, scaffolds and other equipment never comes within 10 feet of electrical power lines
To prevent amputation injuries on the job site, OSHA maintains that construction workers use the proper equipment for the job and adhere to all federally-mandated safety regulations. By enforcing these guidelines, employers and supervisors can help prevent amputation injuries caused by construction accidents.
Workers’ Compensation and Third-Party Liability Claims
Workers’ compensation laws were established in the United States to protect the rights of workers injured on the job. The construction industry is inherently dangerous and construction site injuries account for numerous injuries and fatalities each year. Under workers’ compensation, medical benefits may be available to those injured on the job and death benefits may be available to the families of workers killed in construction site accidents. Workers injured on the job site may be eligible for additional compensation by filing a third-party liability claim, if their injuries were caused by a third party not employed by their employer.
Contact a Construction Accident Attorney Today
Construction site accidents result in some of the most devastating injuries and contribute to tragic loss of life every year. If you or a loved one has suffered an electrical burn or amputation injury at work, contact a construction accident attorney today. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical bills and loss of income, as many injuries of this kind prevent construction workers from returning to work either temporarily or permanently. With the help of a qualified construction accident lawyer, workers injured in accidents on the job site can protect their legal rights and collect the compensation they deserve.